Section 31 in The Code of Civil Procedure
Title: Summons to witness
The provisions in sections 27, 28 and 29 shall apply to summonses to give evidence or to produce documents or other material objects.
Title: Penalty for default
The Court may compel the attendance of any person to whom a summons has been issued under section 30 and for that purpose may
(a) issue a warrant for his arrest;
(b) attach and sell his property;
(c) impose a fine upon him 1 [not exceeding five thousand rupees];
(d) order him to furnish security for his appearance and in default commit him to the civil prison
1. Subs. by Act 46 of 1999, s. 4, for "not exceeding five thousand rupees" (w.e.f. 1-7-2002).
Title: Judgment and decree
The Court, after the case has been heard, shall pronounce judgment, and on such judgment a decree shall follow.
(1) Where and in so far as a decree is for the payment of money, the Court may, in the decree, order interest at such rate as the Court deems reasonable to be paid on the principal sum adjudged, from the date of the suit to the date of the decree, in addition to any interest adjudged on such principal sum for any period prior to the institution of the suit, 1 [with further interest at such rate not exceeding six per cent. per annum as the Court deems reasonable on such principal sum], from the date of the decree to the date of payment, or to such earlier date as the Court thinks fit :
2[Provided that where the liability in relation to the sum so adjudged had arisen out of a commercial transaction, the rate of such further interest may exceed six per cent. per annum, but shall not exceed the contractual rate of interest or where there is no contractual rate, the rate at which moneys are lent or advanced by nationalised banks in relation to commercial transactions.
Explanation I.--In this Sub-section, "nationalised bank" means a corresponding new bank as defined in the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970 (5 of 1970).
Explanation II.-- For the purposes of this section, a transaction is a commercial transaction, if it is connected with the industry, trade or business of the party incurring the liability.]
(2) Where such a decree is silent with respect to the payment of further interest 3[on such principal sum] from the date of the decree to the date of payment or other earlier date, the Court shall be deemed to have refused such interest, and a separate suit therefor shall not lie.
1. Subs. by Act 66 of 1956, s. 2, for certain words.
2. Ins. by Act 104 of 1976, s. 13 (w.e.f. 1-7-1977).
3. Subs. by Act 66 of 1956, s. 2, for "on such aggregate sum as aforesaid" (w.e.f. 1-1-1957)
(1) Subject to such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed, and to the provisions of any law for the time being in force, the costs of an incident to all suits shall be in the discretion of the Court, and the Court shall have full power to determine by whom or out of what property and to what extent such costs are to be paid, and to give all necessary directions for the purposes aforesaid. The fact that the Court has no jurisdiction to try the suit shall be no bar to the exercise of such powers.
(2) Where the Court directs that any costs shall not follow the event, the Court shall state its reasons in writing.
1* * * * *
*[35. Costs.(1) In relation to any commercial dispute, the Court, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or Rule, has the discretion to determine:
(a) whether costs are payable by one party to another;
(b) the quantum of those costs; and
(c) when they are to be paid.
Explanation.-- For the purpose of clause (a), the expression costs shall mean reasonable costs relating to--
(i) the fees and expenses of the witnesses incurred;
(ii) legal fees and expenses incurred;
(iii) any other expenses incurred in connection with the proceedings.
(2) If the Court decides to make an order for payment of costs, the general rule is that the unsuccessful party shall be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party:
Provided that the Court may make an order deviating from the general rule for reasons to be recorded in writing.
The Plaintiff, in his suit, seeks a money decree for breach of contract, and damages. The Court holds that the Plaintiff is entitled to the money decree. However, it returns a finding that the claim for damages is frivolous and vexatious.
In such circumstances the Court may impose costs on the Plaintiff, despite the Plaintiff being the successful party, for having raised frivolous claims for damages.
(3) In making an order for the payment of costs, the Court shall have regard to the following circumstances, including--
(a) the conduct of the parties;
(b) whether a party has succeeded on part of its case, even if that party has not been wholly successful;
(c) whether the party had made a frivolous counterclaim leading to delay in the disposal of the case;
(d) whether any reasonable offer to settle is made by a party and unreasonably refused by the other party; and
(e) whether the party had made a frivolous claim and instituted a vexatious proceeding wasting the time of the Court.
(4) The orders which the Court may make under this provision include an order that a party must pay--
(a) a proportion of another partys costs;
(b) a stated amount in respect of another partys costs;
(c) costs from or until a certain date;
(d) costs incurred before proceedings have begun;
(e) costs relating to particular steps taken in the proceedings;
(f) costs relating to a distinct part of the proceedings; and
(g) interest on costs from or until a certain date.]
1. Sub-section (3) omitted by Act 66 of 1956, s. 3 (w.e.f. 1-1-1957).
*. Shall be applicable to commercial disputes of a specified value by Act 4 of 2016, s. 16 and the Schedule (w.e.f. 23-10-2015).